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  #11  
Old 01-22-2009, 06:03 PM
BlueAngel BlueAngel is offline
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Default Re: Obama's First Day!


Obama signed three Executive Orders today:

(1) America will not torture.

America has tortured prisoners at GITMO since after 911.

America tortures victims in mind control programs.

America tortures humans when used against their own free will in experimentations at universities, hospitals, institutions, prisons, military bases and GOD only knows where else.

America/CIA tortures humans in secret prisons throughout the world.

Yahoo!


Last edited by BlueAngel : 01-22-2009 at 06:07 PM.
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  #12  
Old 01-22-2009, 09:03 PM
BlueAngel BlueAngel is offline
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Default Re: Obama's First Day!

Obama breaks from Bush and orders Gitmo to close - Yahoo! News

Obama breaks from Bush and orders Gitmo to close

WASHINGTON – Breaking forcefully with Bush anti-terror policies, President Barack Obama ordered major changes Thursday that he said would halt the torture of suspects, close down the Guantanamo detention center, ban secret CIA prisons overseas and fight terrorism "in a manner that is consistent with our values and our ideals."

"We intend to win this fight. We're going to win it on our terms," Obama declared, turning U.S. policy abruptly on just his second full day in office. He also put a fresh emphasis on diplomacy, naming veteran troubleshooters for Middle East hotspots.

The policies and practices that Obama said he was reversing have been widely reviled overseas, by U.S. allies as well as in less-friendly Arab countries. President George W. Bush said the policies were necessary to protect the nation after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks — though he, too, had said he wanted Guantanamo closed at some point.

"A new era of American leadership is at hand," Obama said.

Executive orders signed by the new president would order the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, shut within a year, require the closure of any remaining secret CIA "black site" prisons abroad and bar CIA interrogators of detainees from using harsh techniques already banned for military questioners.

That includes physical abuse such as waterboarding, a technique that creates the sensation of drowning and has been termed torture by critics at home and abroad.

For the signing ceremony, Obama was flanked in the Oval Office by retired senior U.S. military leaders who had pressed for the changes.

Underscoring the new administration's point, the admirals and generals said in a statement: "President Obama's actions today will restore the moral authority and strengthen the national security of the United States."

Not everyone felt that way.

Criticism surfaced immediately from Republicans and others who said Obama's policy changes would jeopardize U.S. ability to get intelligence about terrorist plans or to prevent attacks.

House Minority Leader John Boehner was among a group of GOP lawmakers who quickly introduced legislation seeking to bar federal courts from ordering Guantanamo detainees to be released into the United States.

Boehner, R-Ohio, said it "would be irresponsible to close this terrorist detainee facility" before answering such important questions as where the detainees would be sent.

Obama said he was certain that the nation's security is strengthened — not weakened — when the U.S. adheres to "core standards of conduct."

"We think that it is precisely our ideals that give us the strength and the moral high ground to be able to effectively deal with the unthinking violence that we see emanating from terrorist organizations around the world," he said.

"We don't torture," Obama said, but Bush had said the same. The question has always been defining the word.

Later in the day, Obama visited the State Department to welcome newly confirmed Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, emphasizing the importance his administration intends to give diplomacy in his foreign policy. He told Foreign Service officers and other department employees they "are going to be critical to our success."

The president and Clinton jointly announced the appointment of former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, who helped broker peace in Northern Ireland, as special envoy to the Middle East. Former U.N. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, who helped write the peace deal that ended Bosnia's 1992-95 war, was named special envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan.

But for all the talk of a new era, it remained unclear how much of a shift Obama plans for the Middle East.

Though he named high-profile envoys to regions where critics say American attention lagged under Bush, the Mideast policy Obama outlined was no different.

He said he would aggressively seek a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians while also defending Israel's "right to defend itself." He called on Israel and Hamas to take steps to ensure the cease-fire that is in place in Gaza will endure. And he called on Arab states to show more support for the beleaguered Palestinian government of President Mahmoud Abbas.

On the surface, those views mirror the Bush administration's.

As for the treatment of terror suspects, Obama's policy overhaul was an implicit though not directly stated criticism of what he, other Democrats, nations around the globe and human rights groups have called Bush's overreach in the battle against terrorism.

In his presidential campaign, Obama had pledged to close Guantanamo, where many suspects have been detained for years without trial or charge.

Bush, too, had said he wanted to shut down Guantanamo. It never happened on his watch, amid the questions that must be answered to do so: Can other countries be persuaded to take some of the 245 men still be held there? Under what authority should remaining detainees be prosecuted? And, most difficult, what happens to the handful of detainees who are considered both too dangerous to be released to other nations and for whom evidence is deemed either too tainted or insufficient for a trial?

Obama has to answer those same questions.

As to that tough, third category of detainees, a senior administration official said "everything's on the table" as a possibility, including the use of military tribunals that were much criticized by Obama. The official would brief reporters only on condition of anonymity, contending that was necessary in order to speak candidly about details.

The administration already has suspended trials for terrorist suspects at Guantanamo for 120 days pending a review of the military tribunals.

A task force must report in 30 days on where the Guantanamo detainees should go, as well as a destination for future terror suspects.

The national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. criticized Obama's action.

"The detention facility is a valuable tool in the fight against terrorism because it provides useful intelligence information and it keeps our enemies off the battlefield," said Glen Gardner.

Said Obama's GOP rival for the White House, Sen. John McCain: "Numerous difficult issues remain."

Recent polls show the nation essentially split on the topic. An Associated Press-GfK poll last week found about half wanted the prison shut on a priority basis, and 42 percent did not.

On interrogations, another review panel will have 180 days to study whether interrogation techniques allowed under the U.S. Army Field Manual would be acceptably effective in extracting lifesaving intelligence from hardened terrorists.

But the order opens the door to divergences from the Army manual, as it allows the panel to recommend "additional or different guidance" for use by intelligence agencies. That would not, however, allow "enhanced interrogation techniques" to be reintroduced, the official said.

Obama left room for the practice of "extraordinary renditions" of detainees to other nations to continue, though the White House said none would be sent to countries where they might be tortured.

The executive orders also throw out every opinion or memo that the Bush administration used to justify its interrogation programs. And the Obama administration said all terrorism suspects will be covered by standards set by the Geneva Conventions, something the Bush administration opposed.

Obama also ordered the Justice Department to review the case of Qatar native Ali al-Marri, who is the only enemy combatant currently being held in the U.S.

___

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Obama is going to ban secret CIA prisons overseas.

What about mind control programs?

Are you going to ban those, too?

How will WE know for sure this banning of secret CIA torture prisons overseas takes place?

The answer is that we won't.

On another note, Obama has not forcefully broken from Bush, it's all a part of the illusion to make the American people believe that their savior has arrived after eight years of torture under the Bush regime.

It's called appeasement, in the interim, before the next wave of TORTURE hits us.

Last edited by BlueAngel : 01-23-2009 at 07:26 AM.
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  #13  
Old 01-23-2009, 06:47 PM
BlueAngel BlueAngel is offline
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Obama reverses Bush abortion-funds policy - Yahoo! News

By Liz Sidoti And Matthew Lee, Associated Press Writers 2 hrs 13 mins ago

WASHINGTON President Barack Obama on Friday struck down the Bush administration's ban on giving federal money to international groups that perform abortions or provide abortion information an inflammatory policy that has bounced in and out of law for the past quarter-century. Obama's executive order, the latest in an aggressive first week reversing contentious Bush policies, was warmly welcomed by liberal groups and denounced by abortion rights foes.

The ban has been a political football between Democratic and Republican administrations since GOP President Ronald Reagan first adopted it 1984. Democrat Bill Clinton ended the ban in 1993, but Republican George W. Bush re-instituted it in 2001 as one of his first acts in office.

A White House spokesman, Bill Burton, said Obama signed the executive order, without coverage by the media, late on Friday afternoon. The abortion measure is a highly emotional one for many people, and the quiet signing was in contrast to the televised coverage of Obama's Wednesday announcement on ethics rules and Thursday signing of orders on closing the Guantanamo Bay prison camp and banning torture in the questioning of terror suspects.

His action came one day after the 36th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion.

The Bush policy had banned U.S. taxpayer money, usually in the form of Agency for International Development funds, from going to international family planning groups that either offer abortions or provide information, counseling or referrals about abortion as a family planning method.

Critics have long held that the rule unfairly discriminates against the world's poor by denying U.S. aid to groups that may be involved in abortion but also work on other aspects of reproductive health care and HIV/AIDS, leading to the closure of free and low-cost rural clinics.

Supporters of the ban say that the United States still provides millions of dollars in family planning assistance around the world and that the rule prevents anti-abortion taxpayers from backing something they believe is morally wrong.

The ban has been known as the "Mexico City policy" for the city a U.S. delegation first announced it at a U.N. International Conference on Population.

Both Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who will oversee foreign aid, had promised to do away with the rule during the presidential campaign. Clinton visited the U.S. Agency for International Development earlier Friday but made no mention of the step, which had not yet been announced.

In a move related to the lifting of the abortion rule, Obama is also expected to restore funding to the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA), probably in the next federal budget. Both he and Clinton had pledged to reverse a Bush administration determination that assistance to the organization violated U.S. law known as the Kemp-Kasten amendment.

The Bush administration had barred U.S. money from the fund, to contending that its work in China supported a Chinese family planning policy of coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization. UNFPA has vehemently denied that it does.

Congress had appropriated $40 million to the UNFPA in the past budget year but the administration had withheld the money as it had done every year since 2002.

Organizations and lawmakers that had pressed Obama to rescind the Mexico City policy were jubilant.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the move "will help save lives and empower the poorest women and families to improve their quality of life and their future."

"Today's announcement is a very powerful signal to our neighbors around the world that the United States is once again back in the business of good public policy and ideology no longer blunts our ability to save lives around the globe," said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Population Action International, an advocacy group, said that the policy had "severely impacted" women's health and that the step "will help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies, abortions and women dying from high-risk pregnancies because they don't have access to family planning."

Anti-abortion groups and lawmakers condemned Obama's decision.

"I have long supported the Mexico City Policy and believe this administration's decision to be counter to our nation's interests," said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

"Coming just one day after the 36th anniversary of the tragic Roe v. Wade decision, this presidential directive forces taxpayers to subsidize abortions overseas something no American should be required by government to do," said House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.

Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., called it "morally wrong to take the taxpayer dollars of millions of pro-life Americans to promote abortion around the world."

"President Obama not long ago told the American people that he would support policies to reduce abortions, but today he is effectively guaranteeing more abortions by funding groups that promote abortion as a method of population control," said Douglas Johnson, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee.

___

AP White House Correspondent Jennifer Loven contributed to this report.
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  #14  
Old 01-23-2009, 06:51 PM
BlueAngel BlueAngel is offline
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Default Re: Obama's First Day!

Obama asks lawmakers to back stimulus bill - Yahoo! News

By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press Writer – 28 mins ago

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats sought to ease Republican complaints about a massive economic stimulus plan Friday, meeting with GOP leaders in the White House and promising to consider some of their recommendations.

Many Republican lawmakers say the $825 billion package is too costly, and that too much of the spending is for long-range projects that won't aid the economy quickly. Some economists say the package should be even bigger, however, and it was unclear whether Republicans would have much impact.

House and Senate GOP leaders "had some constructive suggestions, which we'll review," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters after the meeting with Obama and House and Senate leaders from both parties in the Roosevelt Room.

Speaking at the National Press Club shortly after the White House gathering, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader in the Senate, said he believes the measure will clear Congress by the mid-February target date set by Obama and Democratic leaders.

In brief remarks before the meeting, Obama urged bipartisan support for the package, adding that he wanted to hear the Republicans' concerns.

"I know that it is a heavy lift to do something as substantial as we're doing right now," Obama said. "I recognize that there are still some differences around the table and between the administration and members of Congress about particular details on the plan.

"But I think what unifies this group is a recognition that we are experiencing an unprecedented, perhaps, economic crisis that has to be dealt with, and dealt with rapidly."

He thanked congressional leaders for working quickly on the rescue package that he says will create 3 million to 4 million new jobs.

"That is going to be absolutely critical and it appears that we are on target to make our President's Day weekend," he said. President's Day falls on Monday, Feb. 16.

Obama also said that any legislation governing the use of an additional $350 billion in financial industry bailout money must include new measures to ensure accountability and transparency.

After the meeting, House Republican Leader John Boehner said he and his colleagues told Obama they feel the stimulus package is too expensive and too slow. He said Republicans told Obama of their own plans to "get fast-acting tax relief in the hands of American families and small businesses, because, at the end of the day, government can't solve this problem."

Republicans have been seeking deeper tax cuts and have said there was no reliable estimate of the bill's impact on employment.

Democrats tried to mitigate the impact of a Congressional Budget Office study that questioned administration claims that the money could be spent fast enough to reduce joblessness quickly.

After attending the White House meeting, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said there was "significant discussion about the CBO numbers." He said Obama's budget director, Peter Orszag, who recently headed the CBO, told participants that the study analyzed only 40 percent of the pending stimulus bill and that Orszag "would guarantee that at least 75 percent of the bill would go directly into the economy within the first 18 months."

Also on Friday, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus unveiled a Senate version of the tax-cutting portion of the bill. Social Security recipients would get a bonus payment of $300 under the plan. Its tax cuts and spending proposals total $355 billion. It will be paired with $400 billion in further spending proposed by the Appropriations Committee on the Senate floor.

The House version of the bill advanced in committees this week. Republicans, who are in the minority, were unable to make inroads with their proposals.

The House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday approved $275 billion in tax cuts on a party-line vote of 24-13. The House Energy and Commerce Committee, also working on the bill, cleared $2.8 billion to expand broadband communications service. And on Wednesday night, the House Appropriations Committee approved a $358 billion spending measure on a 35-22 party-line vote.

Obama is scheduled to meet in the Capitol with House Republicans next week, at their request. But by then the House bill could be on the floor awaiting a vote.

Government reports showed the number of new jobless claims was up and new home construction hit an all-time low in December.

___

Associated Press writers Charles Babington, Andrew Taylor, David Espo, Stephen Ohlemacher and Kevin Freking contributed to this report.
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  #15  
Old 02-11-2009, 06:59 PM
BlueAngel BlueAngel is offline
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Default Re: Obama's First Day!

Do Mr. and Mrs. Obama have to turn the White House into Hollywood?

Personal concerts for their daughters by the Jonas Brothers and now Miley.

It was rumored the girls might even appear as guests on Hannah Montana.

Miley Cyrus' First Fans - Crush: Hollywood's Next Generation - omg! on Yahoo

Last edited by BlueAngel : 02-11-2009 at 08:28 PM.
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  #16  
Old 03-13-2009, 01:43 PM
Revelation1217 Revelation1217 is offline
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Default Re: Obama's First Day!

Considering what we have been seeing in the news lately I am not sure that there is too much reason for optimism.
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